What a crass request some might say, some may even feel that it hints at sarcasm, while others may feel it is an unwelcome request and possibly an insult to those seeking cordial interactions.
Many “gentlemen” in the South would carry a concealed derringer. They would strap the gun to the left arm and camouflage it by the wearing of long-sleeved shirts. When they felt the need to shoot someone who was deemed to have “offended” them or whom they felt were disingenuous, they would employ a Southern tradition of shakings someone’s right hand. Once the handshake was in progress, the alleged offender would meet his fate by way of the hidden derringer.
In such a scenario, allow me to elude to what I refer to as the blind can see and the deaf can hear by referencing a few idyllic questions that may serve us all as we attempt to avoid being greeted by the derringers of daily living.
In asking ourselves invigorating questions that may be a cause to pause and to re-assess our places in society, do we see others as we see ourselves? Do we inadvertently hide that derringer up our left sleeves to avert conflict and confrontation? Do we readily admit and honestly address what we see as flaws of others with that same ‘third eye’ that we use to address our own indiscretions? In processing our ever-changing landscape throughout our many travels, be they foreign or domestic, do we carry with us confusion or do we enter the new landscape armed with good intentions and sharing a concerted effort to present others with solutions?
When asking for that weapon to be dispensed with, are we seeking to minimize unflattering situations and a possible fallout by adhering to Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as he suggests by way of explanation, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”?
In attempting to avoid weapons and not have to possibly use our own, is it possible that we may need to remove ourselves completely from the situation? If we decide we need to remove ourselves, are we careful not to become saboteurs of the process?
Please put down your weapon before you shake my hand is a plea for civility, understanding, honesty, fact-finding, and self-honesty. To employ these concepts will give us the inner strength to see others through our heart’s eyes, be they professional colleagues, opponents, friends, acquaintances or someone who is attempting to thwart our progress due to their own inabilities to put down their weapons before shaking our hands.
Melvin “Casey” Lars ©
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